My friend recently joined a new software company in Bangalore and her team was working collaboratively on the same Google Doc for a client presentation. She went to Yercaud for the weekend and intended to work from there. Like most hill stations the data connection was erratic and the WIFI at her hotel was as good as useless, and all her hopes of sitting out on the balcony, sipping a cup of coffee and completing her work went out the window(literally!) So, she called me to crib about her situation and I realized that like her, there were so many people who did not know and make use of the awesome features that Google Docs has to offer.
Offline Use: For starters, she didn’t know that most of Google’s applications can work Offline. All she had to do was set it up before she left her house where there was an Internet connection. That way she could have had her perfect holiday.
Check our blog post on How to use Google Apps Offline at https://blog.cloudnowtech.com/2017/08/21/use-cloud-products-offline
Revision History: Tracking changes in Microsoft Word is a feature that works only when you turn it on. Whereas, in Docs it automatically keeps track of all changes and you can view the various versions and corrections made. File → Version history → See version history or Ctrl +Alt +Shift +H.
Talk instead of Type: There have been many times that I have prayed for an assistant/secretary. My work involves a lot of typing and sometimes my hands just beg for some rest. That’s where this fantastic feature comes in. Press Ctrl + Shift +S or Tools → Voice Typing and a small icon on the left appears. Once you Click to Speak, whatever you say will appear in the Doc. It even recognizes punctuation’s and comments such as ‘delete’ and ‘next line’.
Tag someone in a Comment – When you want a specific person’s opinion or assign work to specific people, you can tag them in the Doc in a comment. Think of it as a Facebook tag. It gets their attention and work can be specifically assigned to them. You will also get a notification when the work is done. To do this add a @ or + sign and choose their email id from the options given. An email will be sent notifying them. Or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + M.
Suggestion Mode – This is an extremely useful feature in Docs owing to the collaboration feature. It comes in handy when you do not want to make an edit but would like to suggest some changes. Just switch the ‘Editing’ mode to ‘Suggesting’ in the right-hand corner. Once the suggested changes are approved it automatically reflects in the Doc.
The Explore Tool – You can research the meaning of words, search for images to add – all without actually having to leave the Google Doc as the Explore tool allows for everything from within the same page in the browser. This is extremely useful when there is a lot of research work going on and saves us from going back and forth between the zillion tabs open in the browser. To use this feature, click on the sign at the bottom right corner and explore away.
Have you tried any of these awesome features of Google Docs? We’d love to know what you think, once you do.